In response to the “controversial” presidential election a couple months ago, there has been quite a movement on Facebook and other social media channels to claim that Donald Trump is “not my president.” It’s an interesting statement considering that most of those who claim such are currently living within U.S. borders, but regardless, some have taken it upon themselves to denounce President Trump, claiming that he “does not represent them.” However, the brutal honesty is that if you live in this country, and plan to for the foreseeable future, he is your President and he is your leader.
This is not a political statement. No matter how many leaders have taken office since you’ve been alive, it’s a virtual certainty that there have been those you agree with and those you disagree with. Fortunately, all of us living today have been able to coexist peacefully (to a certain degree) without kickstarting Civil War, Part II. Like him or not – and there will be people reading this on both sides of that spectrum – Donald Trump is still president of the United States.
That being said, as Americans, we still have the right to actively try to change legislation if we want to. We can vote, lobby senators, write letters, protest peacefully, or any number of other things to let our voices be heard. In that sense, even though we are still lightyears removed from our elected leaders, we can still have some kind of an effect on the trajectory of our country.
Conversely, there’s no such change of course with God. Outside of praying to Him and asking God for His help with something in our own lives, all doctrinal issues have been sewed up centuries ago. God has already spoken His will on homosexuality, abortion, baptism, and a ton of other issues, and no amount of angry protesting on our behalf is going to change that (James 1:20).
This is actually for our benefit. One glance at our world’s history can see fervent prayers offered up for the destruction of an entire race (Arabs), or creedal decrees that allow for the sale of immorality (indulgences), or attempted justifications for the subjugation of various peoples (slavery). When we think about how fickle mankind’s preferences are, the fact that God doesn’t alter His laws to suit our tastes becomes much more understandable and appreciated.
A specific example of this is found in 1509 by King Henry VIII of England, whose growing frustration with his lack of male offspring prompted him to sever ties with the Catholic Church and start his own (i.e. the Church of England). The Catholic teaching on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, did not allow for a marriage to be dissolved without cause, which Henry VIII did not have, so he decided to start his own church that reflected his own values. Today, there are no less than 6,000 more examples of this very principle reflected in various denominations.
Because the words found in Scripture are breathed by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17), and every word is authoritative as a result (John 16:13), the reality of being a Christian is that you either conform to what He says, or you don’t, and it really doesn’t matter what you or I think about it. That’s not exactly easy to say in today’s world, where opinions on God’s commands vary so widely, but that’s exactly the way Scripture teaches it. We’re either with Him, or against Him (Luke 11:23); friends of His, or friends of the world (James 4:4); set on His ways, or set on our own (Luke 16:13).
For that reason, whenever the world decides that the clear teachings of God on subjects like homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10) or baptism (Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:16-20) are “not valid” or are “not relevant to today’s world,” it changes absolutely nothing about the actual command itself. We can disagree with it, choose not to follow it, or even teach something totally different, but that doesn’t mean that it, or the punishments that follow from those decisions, are any less authoritative.
Does God care that they can be hard to follow sometimes? Sure. Is Jesus always readily available to help us when we fall short? Absolutely (1 Peter 5:6-8). But can our pleas for universalism and “equality of love” change His commandments? Not a chance. We may not claim the Jesus presented in Scripture as our King, or we may try to alter His teachings to suit our own individual preferences, but nothing can change the fact that God’s word is final and unchangeable (Mark 13:31), regardless of how we may feel or think.Last modified: January 22, 2019